THE ENGINEERING OF DEMISE
By Don Signer
Fremont and Newark, California
Mine is the story of what started as the American Dream. In 1980, I built a new General Motors dealership business and facility in Fremont literally from the ground up, and then followed it with many years of successful operation and excellent relations with factory personnel. In 1995 I built a second new facility as required by Cadillac, on property in Newark designated by GM. Then, beginning in 1997, General Motors (GM) attempted a factory takeover of GM dealerships on my street; a prototype model for a subsequent ill-fated national initiative called GM Retail Holdings. My disinterest in selling my hard-earned business was met with GM’s singling me out by depriving me of the GMC truck line, which it intended to be housed across the United States with the declining Buick brand for dealership viability. GM augmented this virtual strangulation of my business with multiple acts of harassment in an obvious attempt to wear me down. Over the years, these conspired efforts involved corrupt actions by virtually dozens of people within, and even outside, General Motors.* Some of these actions were so blatant that I eventually reported them to the FBI.
After I survived more than a decade of GM’s efforts to get my franchises, in 2009, GM’s TARP-supported bankruptcy failure allowed it to finally succeed in taking my franchises with the support of President Obama’s Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry. GM then gave my franchises to its designated operator virtually next door, thus achieving the factory takeover goal it set in 1997.
I consider the seriously misguided business decisions and ethical deficiencies General Motors demonstrated with me to be indicative of the arrogant corporate culture that led the once highly respected American corporate icon into bankruptcy and taxpayer bailout. Sadly, it appears that the corporate culture has not changed with the new GM company, which in 2013 remains partially owned by the U. S. Treasury Department as a result of the taxpayer bailout. A brief overview of the unbelievable story appears below, and a document-supported chronological history is presented in other sections of this web site.
Overview of History
After twenty-nine years in business, on November 30, 2009 I completed the painful process of closing Signer Buick-Cadillac as a result of GM’s termination of my franchises along with hundreds of other targeted franchises in the United States at the time GM filed bankruptcy on June 1, 2009. (For original dealership closure message click here.) My franchises technically remained in effect until October 31, 2010, after which GM ordered the sign to be removed from my property on November 15, 2010.
An hour after the truck carrying my GM sign drove away, the cover was taken off the awaiting “Cadillac” sign above the service entrance to the GM-owned former Saturn facility two doors down the street, thus signifying the opening of Fremont Cadillac-GMC-Buick. Subsequently, a temporary cover displaying the name of the new dealership was placed over the Saturn sign at the front of the lot. These signs are shown below.
This new dealership was the result of GM’s awarding of my Buick and Cadillac franchises (and GMC that it repeatedly denied me) to former Saturn dealer Inder Dosanjh, a member of GM’s Minority Dealer Development Program, to whom GM had planned to give my franchises since mid-2008. Mine was the eighth, and GMC from defunct Fremont Pontiac-GMC was the ninth, East Bay GM dealership Mr. Dosanjh had acquired since April 2008 in a GM-supported, mysterious and unprecedented spending spree of dizzying speed. The first seven dealerships in this instant empire, three of which Mr. Dosanjh closed down within months, were purchased in a fourteen month period ending in May 2009 as General Motors was plummeting toward bankruptcy.** (In February 2013, two former East Bay GM dealers filed a lawsuit against GM and Mr. Dosanjh alleging multiple claims, including fraud and racketeering. It is discussed later on this Home Page.)
As GM’s terminations of dealers like me were supported by the U. S. Treasury Department’s Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry at the time of the June 2009 $50 billion TARP bailout, this legalized confiscation of my business for the benefit of a favored person is an action that one would not believe could happen even in a corrupt third world country, let alone in the United States of America.
The engineering of demise: As despicable as the aforementioned theft was, it represents only a footnote in the final chapter of GM’s adversarial, and often corrupt*, actions with me for nearly two decades. My story is one of illogical business decisions imposed by GM while it ruthlessly engineered the demise of a dedicated career-long GM dealer who happened to be in the path of the automaker’s local market takeover plan.
After my many years of superior performance and consistently excellent factory relations, in the early 1990’s GM initiated actions that denied me opportunities that would have been mutually beneficial, and evolved into its intense efforts to induce my exit beginning in 1997 to achieve factory control of its Newark dealerships. GM’s Newark actions were concurrent with a larger, but similar, initiative in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. This groundbreaking initiative included GM’s funding of dealerships it would take over, while designating a chosen dealer(s) operator to run it (them.) GM’s San Fernando Valley takeover was met with fierce opposition from dealers and the California Motor Car Dealers Association due to unfair advantages factory-owned stores would have over privately-capitalized neighboring dealers. The dealers’ opposition eventually resulted in new laws to prevent GM’s factory takeover structure. An October 2012 article discussing GM’s factory takeover attempts may be viewed here.
As new vehicle dealers like me own independent businesses with legally protected territories, for GM’s plan to work, targeted dealers must be willing to sell. GM initially attempted to persuade me to sell my hard-earned business voluntarily. When I declined, it resorted to using subversive force.
The unbelievable story is extremely complex, but it could possibly be summarized in a few general plots:
- GM refusal to support my relocation to the Fremont Auto Mall; GM strong-arms me to Newark instead (pre-factory takeover attempt): GM’s Auto Mall rejection was despite the five years and $160,000 I had invested from 1987 to 1992 in this complicated multi-party project I co-developed with nearly all Fremont dealers, the City of Fremont, and the land seller. Instead, GM used strong-armed tactics to coerce me into relocating to its illogical, yet higher priced, site in neighboring Newark where I would be isolated from the dominant Fremont Auto Mall’s high volume dealers. Additionally, GM required that I pay it $150,000 profit for the Newark property it required that I buy from it simultaneously with its purchase of the optioned land. GM’s actions left me virtually no choice but to succumb to its increasing pressure and threats, and thus build a new facility in Newark against my will and relocate there in 1995.
- Buick 90+% national sales decline engineered by GM; GM denies me GMC: GM’s planned long-term phase-out of Buick (salvaged by GM at the last minute in its bankruptcy due to Buick’s recent sales success in China) was accompanied by its repeatedly denying me the Pontiac-GMC franchises needed to restore dealership viability as GM shifted its emphasis to trucks. GM’s first denial of an eventual four between 1991 and 2009, none of which were related to dealership performance, was my 1991 purchase of DiGiulio Pontiac-GMC with plans to relocate the brands to the Fremont Auto Mall with Buick and Cadillac, but in separate showrooms. GM’s subsequent intentional decimation of the Buick product portfolio, combined with its repeatedly denying me the GMC truck line it wanted all Buick dealers (except me) to have, plunged my dealership into non-viability in recent years and deprived me of millions of dollars of return on investment. In California, GMC volume alone was more than double the combined total of Buick and Cadillac.
- GM’s targeting of Newark market for factory takeover: This subversive plan led to GM’s ruthless and unjustified late 1997 removal of Newark’s “Fremont Pontiac-Olds-GMC” dealer. He promptly filed suit against GM, and continued to operate until reaching settlement effective January 1, 1998. On January 2, 1998, outside picketers appeared, I believe instigated by GM, in front of my dealership and marched non-stop for eight months while GM repeatedly urged me to sell to it. Over time, GM appointed three different GM-funded operators for its seized Pontiac-GMC dealership, all of whom later resigned or failed. GM had intended for that dealership to take over my franchises as well. (Due to anti-factory ownership laws, GM modified its program to give the appearance of private ownership. In reality, these dealerships were disguised factory-controlled operations.) The Pontiac-GMC dealership failed and closed in January 2009, yet GM continued, without cause, to deny me the two brands. GM was withholding the Newark GMC franchise (Pontiac division ended with GM’s bankruptcy) in order to give it to its latest favored dealer, Inder Dosanjh, when it gave him the franchises it took from me, as noted above.
- GM’s 2005 secret plan to implement without me the same Fremont Auto Mall Buick-Pontiac-GMC-Cadillac plan it once denied me, accompanied by GM harassment to induce my exit: Recognizing the fact that nearly all other local franchises had relocated to the Fremont Auto Mall as I, in the early 1990′s, had informed them would occur, GM secretly decided to relocate its three Newark dealerships there. In early 2005, before I learned of its secret Auto Mall plan, GM intensified its efforts to acquire my franchises by having many of its employees urge me to sell. My continued disinterest in selling was then met with GM’s secret implementation of multiple unconscionable conspired actions to harass me into conceding to its wishes, which began immediately after a secret April 13, 2005, internal GM e-mail series outlining a conspired scheme to induce my exit.* The financially and emotionally damaging events, for which I have provided extensive documented proof elsewhere on donsigner.com, included the following:
- 2005: Malicious GM warranty audit, unauthorized by GM home office: Months after audit I privately commented about the malicious nature of the audit to a mid-level GM manager. He responded, “It wasn’t one of our prouder moments.”
- 2005: IRS audit on dealership corporation, the first ever: On 2003 return, IRS Agent zeroed in on, and disallowed, a longstanding annual expense deduction known to and approved by GM. Ironically, the disallowance in turn created another, more favorable, deduction that I took. Due to the net benefit to me, I did not contest the result.
- 2006: GMAC defamatory false message to auctions, kept secret from me
- 2006: GMAC audit for secret illegal GM/GMAC dealership financial information sharing scheme: I learned by accident of the two GMAC secret malicious acts, and then exposed them in e-mails sent to multiple GM and GMAC employees. Within an hour of my e-mails, GMAC reversed the two actions. GMAC subsequently terminated two mid-level managers of 16 and 20 years tenure as apparent scapegoats.
- 2007-2008: IRS audit on my personal return, the first ever: On 2005 return, IRS Agent reviewed, and chose to allow, a certain deduction. But in a rare override, he was instructed by his manager to disallow, and craft a reason to support doing so. I was assessed a tax of $111,488 with interest, but in 2010 got it, plus $10,151 interest, refunded after I protested and IRS admitted it was wrong. Many clues pointed to GM’s initiation of, and influence for negative outcome, of the audit in 2007-2008.
Attempt to recover damages: In October 2005, after the warranty and IRS audits, I learned by accident of GM’s nearly year-old Fremont Auto Mall plan from then Newark Saturn dealer John Cross. By 2006, it had become apparent that the actions GM imposed upon me over many years had cost me many millions of dollars due to GM’s engineering of the Buick collapse, accompanied by its groundlessly denying me Pontiac-GMC necessary for viability, and then its destroying the value of my Newark facility through its planned abandonment of Newark. After consideration of all factors, in October 2006, in an attempt to amicably settle the issue and be fairly compensated, I offered GM an amount I would accept as settlement. I offered to sell GM my corporation, which included the facility and franchises GM wanted, for what I considered to be a more than reasonable price of $26,500,000. Out of that, I would have had to pay capital gains tax. In response, GM initially pleaded with me not to sue. GM senior management then considered my settlement offer, but rejected it in January 2007, thus forcing me to file suit against GM and GMAC in February 2007.
In March 2007, GM made me a mid-seven figure settlement offer, which was unacceptable considering my damages. In April 2007, GM filed a motion to dismiss my suit, which was followed by the judge’s upholding of eight counts going forward to trial. The judge retired in August 2008. In May 2009, after 27 months of expensive preparation for a trial scheduled to begin July 20, GM was mysteriously able to get the new judge to dismiss all eight counts in a disturbing and extremely rare granting of summary judgment, shocking many attorneys and a retired judge I later mentioned it to. This action denied me my right to present my case to a jury, which I believe would have led to a mid-eight-figure jury award, and set a precedent for other similarly damaged dealers across the country. Thus, the judge’s action could potentially have saved GM hundreds of millions of dollars and extensive negative publicity. While I am confident an appeal would have reversed the bizarre dismissal, I did not pursue it due to GM’s bankruptcy filing in June 2009 that left it nothing to pay an award. The new GM currently operating is a different corporation.
In the years since GM forced me out of business, the anger has remained. Over the years, some acquaintances observing the anger in me have asked me when I will be able to get past it. A few have asked me why I don’t try to negotiate a settlement with GM so I can move on. I explain to them that I certainly would if I could, but my issues are with the old GM, thus making a settlement impossible.
Treasury Department conducts cover-up of GM/IRS collusion: In June 2010, I filed a complaint with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA,) the Treasury Department’s office that investigates IRS fraud, waste, and abuse. My complaint contained overwhelming document-supported evidence that GM instigated the aforementioned 2005 and 2007-2008 IRS audits as elements of its conspired harasment strategy to induce my exit. (In October 2010, following of my intense year and a half efforts contesting the IRS’s additional tax assessment after the 2008 audit, the IRS conceded it was wrong and refunded me $121,639 including interest.) After my subsequent multiple unsuccessful attempts at learning the status of the TIGTA investigation, in April 2011, TIGTA informed two inquiring Members of Congress that it “found no evidence” of GM/IRS harassment conspiracy in carefully-worded letters that clearly implied that the office had conducted an investigation of my allegations.
In June 2011 I obtained internal documents that clearly state that TIGTA did not investigate my allegations, thus proving that it had deceptively misled the Members of Congress. As for “found no evidence,” my complaint provided so much evidence of harassment conspiracy that the only thing left unanswered was who gave the orders. Some TIGTA internal documents contain false statements that “justified” non-investigation, an action that is eerily similar to the judge’s denying me my right to a trial in 2009.As TIGTA’s actions further confirm to me the GM/IRS collusion, in August and September 2011, in staged succession leaving time for each addressee to take corrective action before I informed the next level. I sent certified letters describing my observation of a TIGTA cover-up to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George, then Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, then finally, President Obama. I received U. S. Postal Service confirmation of delivery to the addressees, but I received no response from any of them. The letters and proof of delivery may be viewed in the Expanded Details in the right column of this website.
FBI refuses to investigate TIGTA cover-up: Since the Treasury Department’s fraud department itself committed fraud, in September 2011 I reported my document-supported observations of a TIGTA cover-up to the FBI, whose agents initially informed me that I had reported it to the right people and referred my allegations to the FBI’s White Collar Crime Division. As my subsequent status inquiries went unanswered, I sent certified letters to the San Francisco FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Douglas in December 2011, then to FBI Director Robert Mueller and U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder in January 2012. (In my September 2011 letter to President Obama, I stated that I had reported the TIGTA cover-up to the FBI.) As with the TIGTA letters, I received U. S. Postal Service confirmation of delivery to the addressees. I received no responses. The letters and proof of delivery may be viewed in the Expanded Details in the right column of this website.
I also furnished copies of the letters to top FBI officials and Mr. Holder to Congressman Pete Stark and Senator Barbara Boxer, both of whom then sent inquiries on my behalf to the FBI in late January 2012. In April 2012, Congressman Stark and Senator Boxer forwarded replies they had received from the FBI that revealed that their inquiries were fruitless in prompting an investigation of the TIGTA cover-up I alleged. As my report to the FBI indisputably proved a TIGTA cover-up of criminal IRS action, I consider the FBI’s refusal to investigate the to constitute yet another cover-up. TIGTA and the FBI are two entities who are charged with, among other things, protecting citizens from government abuse as I received from the IRS. In my case, both agencies buried the story away as one might only expect to occur in a country run by a dictator. In summary, neither TIGTA nor the FBI denied any of my allegations; they simply made the complaints go away quietly.
Cover-ups protect President Obama: GM and the Treasury Department have been business partners since June 2009 by way of the controversial $50 billion taxpayer-funded TARP bailout. I have long believed that the cover-up actions of TIGTA and the FBI were done to prevent exposure of the aforementioned atrocities that not only reflect negatively on the IRS, but also on President Obama due to his Treasury Department TARP bailout of GM. In his 2012 reelection campaign, President Obama heavily promoted the “success” of the bailout: “Osama Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive.” Exposure of the GM/IRS conspired harassment, and then the TIGTA cover-up, would have undoubtedly been very damaging to the campaign, as well as to GM.
GM employee Jim Gentry becomes Dosanjh’s CFO: Adding to the shocking GM events is the action of Jim Gentry, a GM employee who, behind my back beginning in early 2005, spearheaded GM’s aforementioned secret Fremont Auto Mall four-franchise project and the concurrent conspired efforts to induce my exit. He was also instrumental in creating Mr. Dosanjh’s unprecedented instant GM dealership empire that began in 2008, as well as in driving other long-time neighboring dealers out of business. After the empire was built and my franchises had been tagged for Mr. Dosanjh, Mr. Gentry mysteriously left GM after 24 years to become Mr. Dosanjh’s Chief Financial Officer in August 2010.
Groth Brothers Chevrolet closes, files suit; Gentry leaves Dosanjh: One of the East Bay dealerships GM drove out of business was Livermore’s 76-year family business, Groth Brothers Chevrolet (formerly Olds-GMC.) As Groth was an unwanted nearby competitor of Mr. Dosanjh’s Dublin Chevrolet dealership, GM, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC,) and Mr. Dosanjh appeared to conspire in the engineering of Groth’s demise. After considerable GM/GMAC/Ally emotional and financial harassment of the dealer, in August 2011 Groth Brothers was forced to close and file bankruptcy, after which the bankruptcy court solicited offers starting at $500,000 for the liquidation of assets such as shop equipment and office furniture. The proceeds would go to Groth Brothers’ creditors, with none to Groth. As the only bidder, Mr. Dosanjh, represented by Jim Gentry, purchased Groth’s assets in November 2011 for $550,000. They then sold them at auction a month later for a net after expenses of around $120,000, leaving Mr. Dosanjh an instant loss of about $430,000. Since Mr. Dosanjh’s purchase did not include the Chevrolet franchise, and did nothing to prevent GM from awarding a Chevrolet franchise to another competitor, the motive for such a seemingly foolish action was unclear at the time, but was suspicious by its nature.
Groth Brothers filed suit on March 12, 2012, against GM, Ally Financial (GMAC), Inder Dosanjh, Jim Gentry, and GM employee Susan Keenehan. The suit alleged that the named parties conspired in recent years to drive Groth Brothers out of business. Mr. Gentry and Ms. Keenehan were the same co-conspirators who, in 2005, intensified GM’s long-term efforts to induce my exit for the desired factory takeover. When Groth’s attorney attempted to serve Mr. Gentry the lawsuit, it was learned that he had recently returned to employment with GM, or as an independent consultant to dealers; curiously timed right after the lawsuit was filed.
In April 2012, GM’s and Ally’s attorneys filed with the court to remove them from the Groth lawsuit, claiming that Groth Brothers’ right to sue went to Mr. Dosanjh with the assets he purchased. It thus would appear that this was the motive for Mr. Dosanjh wasting more than $400,000 — it protected GM and Ally from Groth Brothers’ legal claims that could run well into the millions. As Mr. Dosanjh’s litigation-thwarting action appears to be for the benefit of GM and Ally/GMAC, it seems highly unlikely that Mr. Dosanjh incurred the loss out of his own pocket. Litigation avoidance may have also been the motive for Mr. Dosanjh’s mysterious purchase of assets of two other adjacent East Bay GM dealers who had voluntarily terminated their franchises in 2008 and 2009.
On October 25, 2012, Groth-Hill Land Company, LLC, et al, filed a complaint against General Motors, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC,) Jim Gentry, Inder Dosanjh and his company, California Automotive Retailing Group, Inc. Groth-Hill Land Company is a separate entity owned by the owners of Groth Brothers Chevrolet, and was also negatively affected by the actions of the allegedly conspired parties. On February 25, 2013, the Land Company, along with additional plaintiff Crown Chevrolet, filed an amended complaint, which included two new defendants in addition to Inder Dosanjh and Jim Gentry: GM employee Randy Parker, and GMAC/Ally employee Kevin Wrate. Curiously, within a month after the filing of the amended complaint, Randy Parker left GM after an estimated 25 years to accept employment by Nissan. Crown Chevrolet was the previous owner of the Chevrolet and Cadillac franchises in Dublin that Mr. Dosanjh acquired in 2008. The amended complaint alleges various fraud and conspiracy actions by the defendants, including racketeering based on alleged kickbacks from Mr. Dosanjh to GM employees who were involved in the creation of Mr. Dosanjh’s empire and the accompanying engineering of the demise of targeted East Bay dealers. The amended complaint is available on the Alameda County Court website, and may be viewed here. After the amended complaint was filed, the addition of the racketeering allegation prompted a transfer of the case to U. S. District Court in San Francisco.
2012-2013 real estate updates
Sale of my Newark facility: In mid-2012, I sold my facility to the DelGrande Dealership Group, which opened Fremont Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram there. Due to the much less desirable Newark location, the sale price was at least $2,000,000 less than the facility would have been worth in the Fremont Auto Mall where I wanted it to be, although the price was more than those of GM’s Pontiac-GMC and Saturn facilities down the street. Using a tax-deferred 1031 exchange, I reinvested the proceeds into rental properties. Although I made no profit on the facility I built in 1994-1995, in the absence of the 1031 exchange, there would have been tax liability on the depreciation that had accumulated over the years. It should be noted that due my lack of income and six figure expenses on my empty facility (property taxes, insurance, utilities, landscape maintenance, depreciation, etc.,) I have had no income tax liability since I closed in 2009. With my new properties now rented, in 2013 I will have the first profit in many years, but for federal tax it will be more than offset by net operating loss carryforwards from prior years. Due to the magnitude of the losses, this will most likely be the case in at least 2015 also. So, when the Treasury Department authorized GM to take my franchises, it also deprived itself of any tax revenue from me for several years.
Fremont Cadillac-GMC-Buick relocation: After Inder Dosanjh acquired the franchises GM took from me, GM reportedly gave him approximately 3.6 acres of land free, or nearly free, in the Fremont Auto Mall. In 2007, GM paid approximately $5,300,000 for that acreage. In September 2012, Dosanjh began construction of a new facility there, while he continued to operate temporarily in the Newark former Saturn facility until the new facility is completed. In April 2013, Fremont Cadillac-Buick-GMC relocated from Newark into the new Fremont Auto Mall facility, although it was still under construction. With this relocation, GM has now come full circle in implementing the exact Fremont Auto Mall multi-franchise plan I proposed, and it rejected, in the early 1990′s, while destroying my business and the value of my GM-induced Newark facility in the process. It should be noted that in calendar years 2011 and 2012, Mr. Dosanjh’s Newark Cadillac sales volume ranked dead last among all Bay Area Cadillac dealers, and Buick volume ranked next to last among Buick dealers.
Financial and emotional damage from GM’s actions: From the time that GM selected me to establish Fremont’s first ever Buick dealership in 1980, and first Cadillac dealership in 1990, I proudly operated a successful and highly reputable business into which I invested my heart and soul, as well as all of my capital. The business was my livelihood, my lifestyle, my identity in the community, and my primary source of self-esteem. My loyal employees and customers were my family. All of that ended with GM’s ruthless action that destroyed everything I had ever worked for, as well as the careers of my employees who averaged thirteen years tenure. It is hard to imagine how those in General Motors and the U. S. Treasury Department who engineered this destruction can live with themselves.
The movie script: A comprehensive chronological account of GM’s misguided and vicious actons imposed on me appear under the Dealership History tab at the top of this donsigner.com website. In addition, this section refers to links to Expanded Details listed in the right column of the website, which contain links to extensive documentation supporting the story that would otherwise seem unbelievable. As the story is quite complex with many overlapping “subplots,” I suggest that readers first review the History Timeline (Excel file) (PDF file) in order to aid comprehension of the stranger-than-fiction story, which has prompted many people to encourage me to have a movie made.
Had GM fairly compensated me amicably in late 2006 for the past financial damage and abuse it had inflicted on me, my life would have been much different ever since. My hostility, and the story that had developed, would have faded away. As it turned out, the story became even more bizarre in the years that followed.
I welcome questions and comments, which I will hold in strict confidence. Please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* It is my opinion only that GM exhibited corruption and was the instigator of the damaging acts, some of which included conspired outsiders. This opinion is based on overwhelming documented evidence presented on donsigner.com.
** Mr. Dosanjh’s East Bay GM dealerships acquired since April 2008 include:
1. Saturn of Oakland (April 2008 - Closed April 2008. Purchased and closed simultaneously.)
2. Saturn of Fremont (in Newark) (April 2008 - Closed January 2009.)
3. Hayward Chevrolet (October 2008 - Closed August 2009.)
4. Fremont Chevrolet (January 2009 - Present. Formerly Central.)
5. Dublin Chevrolet-Cadillac (October 2008 - Present. Formerly Crown.)
6. Dublin Buick-GMC (April 2009 - Present. Formerly Dublin Buick-Pontiac-GMC closed by previous owner.)
7. Concord Chevrolet (May 2009 - Present. Formerly Fitzpatrick.)
8. Fremont Cadillac-GMC-Buick (November 2010 - Present. Buick & Cadillac from Signer Buick-Cadillac stolen from me by GM)
9. Fremont Cadillac-GMC-Buick (November 2010 - Present. GMC from Fremont Pontiac-GMC closed by previous owner in January 2009.)
10. Groth Brothers Chevrolet (asset purchase) in Livermore (October 2011 - Closed October 2011. Purchased and closed simultaneously.)
(11. In addition to East Bay points, Mr. Dosanjh acquired Honolulu Buick-GMC-Cadillac in November 2009.)
Note: In addition to the dealerships named above, GM directly or indirectly caused the closure of three other neighboring competitors of Mr. Dosanjh:
- In March 2009 Marina Buick-Pontiac-GMC in San Leandro closed under pressure from GMAC, which was followed the next month by GM’s awarding Mr. Dosanjh the recently closed Dublin Buick-Pontiac-GMC.
- In its June 2009 bankruptcy, GM terminated Michael Stead Chevrolet in Walnut Creek, an unwanted competitor located between Mr. Dosanjh’s newly acquired Concord and Dublin Chevrolet dealerships. GM also terminated Mr. Stead’s Cadillac franchise of thirty years with the apparent intent of awarding it to Mr. Dosanjh’s Concord Chevrolet dealership, but Mr. Stead obtained Cadillac back in arbitration offered to terminated dealers as mandated by congressional action in 2010.
- In August 2011, 76-year family dealership Groth Brothers Chevrolet in Livermore , another unwanted competitor of Mr. Dosanjh’s Dublin dealership, closed and filed bankruptcy. This followed years of conspired damaging efforts by GM, GMAC/Ally, and Mr. Dosanjh to induce Groth Brothers’ closure.
Woman and minority dealers given preferential treatment: When GM filed bankruptcy in 2009, it did not terminate Groth Brothers apparently due to its ownership by woman dealer Robin Groth-Hill, a third generation dealer. A 2010 Treasury Department report revealed that in its bankruptcy, GM largely avoided termination of woman and minority-owned dealerships, presumably at the urging of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, which engineered the TARP bailout. At the time of GM’s bankruptcy, Michael Stead and I were two of only three remaining white male GM dealers in the East Bay. The third one was Dan Gatto of F. H. Daily Chevrolet in San Leandro. In October 2012, GM/Motors Holding bought out Mr. Gatto and appointed an Asian male as dealer operator.